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Grading the 49ers

  • San Francisco 49ers defender Taylor Mays (23) celebrates a first-half touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons after recovering a blocked punt in the end zone of an NFL football game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Each week Press Democrat staff writer Eric Branch will grade the Niners' performance. Following are his grades and comments on Sunday's effort in a 16-14 loss at Atlanta:



Some good (21-of-32, 188 yards, 1 TD) and some bad (2 INTs) for Alex Smith. Very bad. In fact, the bad, as Smith admitted, prevented a victory. You've heard this before, but here goes: Smith often looked jittery when pressured.

<b>Running backs

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